When do you stop being a novice cake decorator? Is it after you’ve mastered sharp edges and can cover a fondant cake with one hand (tied behind your back?) Does someone always think of herself as a novice?
At two years into my caking life, I still consider myself a newbie. Perhaps because there are still so many techniques I wish to master; or maybe, because I’m always still so afraid something may go wrong. But one of the biggest reasons I still feel like a newbie is because I’m still so darn SLOOOOOWWWWWW.
I marvel at my caking friends that can create upwards of 8 cakes a week – tiered, fondant, sugar flowers, figures, the works. It boggles my mind how they get it all done. I imagine they don’t sleep. And even with my excellent time management skills, I could sometimes have just one cake a week and still not get any sleep either.
So just recently I’d decided to put my speed to the test. My family had decided last minute to get together for my niece’s birthday and with 4 hours to spare, I decided that I could create a small cake worthy of her favorite princess: Belle. I COULD DO THIS!!
Now, four hours may seem like ages of time to many of you. At least, I think that is what the competition cake shows will have you believe. But for me, who requires a month advance notice for all orders, I tend not only to be slow with producing a cake but also coming up with the idea.
So I decided that simple was best and to rely on some props. While I did use one silk flower and a glass vase, I did whip up the cake entirely from scratch and, my favorite part, the rolled roses took me only minutes.
A constant rush from baking to buttercream, cooling cakes (perhaps the hardest and most uncontrollable part-that’s why they have a blast chiller on tv!), to torting, filling, sharp edges, to making a gumpaste base for the topper and the rolled roses, I worked nonstop every second for 4 hours…ON A SIX INCH CAKE!
So while I would not have won a cake competition only creating a one 6inch tier in four hours, I did pass a certain milestone as a novice caker: I completed my 1st “fast” cake. This gave me some confidence that I can do it; I know exactly what it takes to turn out a beautiful cake relatively quickly.
So, am I still a novice?? I guess if I have to ask myself that question, I still am.
Check out my mini rose tutorial on Satinice.com that will have you rolling roses like an expert for sure…